Newsweek goes niche

I hear some people saying that the print media’s much publicized financial/circulation problems only affect the nation’s big dailies, that smaller newspapers and magazines are doing just fine. But I guess that doesn’t apply to newsmagazines.

Newsweek has announced that it is undertaking a major overhaul of its publication, including its content, design and target audience. Newsweek editors appear to be hoping that the magazine/cable TV model of narrow-casting — targeting a niche audience — will work for them.

Read the NYT article about it: Newsweek Plans Makeover to Fit a Smaller Audience –


Pondering the future

With layoffs continuing in the newspaper business (and spreading to PR and advertising agencies), it’s hard to know what to tell students who want to pursue a career in the news media.

So I was glad to see Mindy McAdams’ blog post, Advice for Journalism Students Now. If you aspire to a career in journalism, this blog post tells you what skills newspaper editors and publishers are looking for.

McAdams teaches online journalism at the University of Florida and writes the Teaching Online Journalism blog.

Trying out a new business model?

  • “It’s official: The Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News, will become the first major U.S. newspapers to cease seven-day home delivery.”

    • Hello to three-day delivery: The JOA will instead focus on Thursday and Friday delivery of both papers and Sunday delivery of the Free Press only. Those days are the most lucrative for advertising and have often been considered in the newspaper world as the “money” days for both sales and circulation.
    • Clearly one of the biggest design challenges is to try to continue serving current single copy readers and perhaps even improve their experiences, while also appealing to long-time home delivery customers and trying to serve their needs.
    • “We’ll have to look at ways to maximize reader connections through all existing and newly developing channels (ex: Kindle, iPhone, etc and whatever comes next). That is definitely part of our planning.”
    • Some critics have panned the process with IDEO, worrying that the design firm does not completely understand how to work with the news media.
    • The influential designer Juan Antonio Giner of Innovation called it “the way to death” in a posting last week, and the Gannett Blog has been buzzing with rumors about IDEO’s role. But the leaders of the transformation defend the IDEO process.

tags: future of newspapers, future of news, online

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